The Bloggers Lament


Most bloggers write to be appreciated. They don’t blog for fame. They don’t blog for money. They don’t blog to pass the time of day. They blog because they have an irresistible internal energy that is calling them to interact with other humans through the two-way street called written communication.

We live in a world with little appreciation. People spend a lot of their time complaining and criticizing. Bloggers do this too, but many bloggers are trying very diligently to add to the joys of the world – to uplift the reader to a higher consciousness or, at least, to better their day. For that they ask only for a little appreciation and gratitude.

If most bloggers are like me, they are somewhat addicted to the stats page. Where are my readers coming from? What articles do they like? Are they coming back for more? Do they like what I write? Do they appreciate me?

There’s the rub. The bloggers lament. Am I appreciated for what I write. 147 hits today, 213 yesterday. They looked at many of my blogs, but no “likes” and no “comments”. Ah, at last, one comment – this reader is inspired by my latest piece and praises my writing style. Now everything is right with the world. I am inspired to write more.

Dear reader: if you enter a website or blog and read content that someone has taken the trouble to write and make available to you, please honor them. If you like what they write then click the “like” button or leave a comment. If you disagree with what they write, tell them so they can get a different perspective. We are all learning.

I hereby declare this week as Blogger Appreciation Week. Please show your appreciation for your favorite blogger with a “Like”.

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My Rocket Ship


The color blue comes in many shades and hues. It is very much affected by red in the direction of purple and by yellow in the direction of green. Depending on my mood, I tend to favor one or the other but, in any case, blue is my favourite of all the colors. I usually favor the green-blue hues unless I am feeling very spiritual, in which case I favor the more purple direction of blue.

When I was very young, perhaps about 4 or 5 years old, my father bought an old inboard motor boat, put it in the garage of our little home and proceeded to rebuild it to make it seaworthy (or at least lake worthy). The details of this boat are not germane to this story, but the color he painted it is of extreme importance. He purchased a large 1 gallon pail of the most incredible color of deep blue shiny enamel marine paint for his boat. To this day I remember the maiden voyage of this little boat on the Fraser river near where we lived. I felt very proud to be out with my father in his completed boat project with the shiny blue paint. This was heaven.

The unused can of paint sat in the garage for many long months and all this time, I knew the rest of this paint was waiting specifically for me to use. I also knew, when the time came, I would know exactly what to do with it.

One day I found, in a kids magazine, the plans and directions on how to build your own personal rocket ship. I became fascinated with the idea of a rocket ship that could take me travelling  through space. The concept of time was not yet in my consciousness. For me, the rocket ship was a ticket to the stars and the other end of the galaxy. My rocket ship would get me there any time I pleased.

During the next few days I searched out the components for my project. If certain things weren’t available, I would make do with something close. A long cylinder cardboard tube for the main fuselage, heavy cardboard pieces cut from a box for the tale wings. I found a plastic cone for the nose somewhere. Here and there, a little bit of tape and glue was applied very carefully. Eventually I completed the project except for the paint. This was the most important part and, in many ways, the real motivation for the rocket project.

I remember very distinctly the day I opened the paint can, small brush in hand, and proceeded to cover my rocket ship with this most incredible color of shiny blue paint with the greenish tinge.

When the paint was dry, I knew exactly what to do with my completed rocket ship. It sat on my dresser for a very long time. Every night when I went to bed, there it was. Shiny. Ready for exploring the heavens. It just felt so good to have my own rocket ship.

Dear reader, I apologize for not giving you a picture of my blue rocket ship because, like so many things in life, somewhere in the mists of time, it has disappeared.

Be like a little child, if you will, and imagine what it looked like. Then you too, can travel to the stars.

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Talk About The Good Things


Ever notice how many people express negatively everywhere about everything. Complaints about this; complaints about that.  The issue is usually about past happenings. The list of subjects is endless AND no one wants to hear it – even if they are compassionate and empathetic. After the complainer leaves, there is a little voice within that says, gently and silently: “got to avoid that person . . .” Everywhere you look, people are unhappily expressing the woes of their life as if the whole world was responsible for their situation.

We create our own life. We create our own happiness. If we are unhappy we created that too. Many will disagree with this, but it is what I believe. Some people wonder why they have no friends. Even family will avoid you if you are constantly complaining.

It’s hard sometimes. Life, for most people, isn’t always easy. It actually takes a determination to be positive when we are with others, especially if we are having issues in our life. But, gratitude and appreciation is the key – for what we have been given – because we have been given so much.

We have so many concepts and expectations about how things SHOULD be and no appreciation for how they ARE. Give up talk about the past or the future. The past is gone, never to be hear again and the future, well, who knows – no-one.

The secret is to live in the NOW, in the present and enjoy what we have. You are alive – that’s what is important. Enjoy your life. Understand! You are alive. That is a miracle if there ever was one.

Talk about the good things.

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Sammy the Barber


Two months had passed since my last haircut when I went to see Sammy, my barber. The little shop is just off the corner of Davie and Burrard street here in Vancouver. As I walked through the door, there he was, one barber chair in a line of eight.  All Greek guys who cut hair – a couple of old guys, a couple of young ones, wet behind the ears, and a couple of middle aged ones. Sammy is one of the middle aged ones. Behind the chairs, is a continuous mirror the whole length of the wall. Written, in large black ink, behind each chair is the name of the barber. Sammy’s name on the mirror says simply, “Sam” in fancy scrolled lettering. It used to say “Sammy”, but somewhere along the line, it got changed to “Sam”. The name on the mirror conveys a sense of permanence – as if it had always been there, forever.

I was sitting there waiting for him to finish with his customer thinking that I would be next. You know, I thought, I’ve been going to Sammy for years and every time I come here, there he is at the same chair, seeming to enjoy every minute of his work. He always seems to take such pride in what he does.

He charges $16 for what is usually a 15 or 20 minute haircut. (I don’t have a lot of hair left to cut on top).

Here’s how it goes: I sit down. He says: “the usual, make it look nice?” I say: “yep” and away he goes, knowing exactly what to do. I trust him. He never screws it up. When he’s finished, he shows me the back of my head in his big mirror and, like always, he says: “okay?” and like always, I say: “looks great Sam – thank you”.

Then, as always, after he slathers the heated shaving cream on the back of my neck around to the ears, he scrapes it away with the long straight razor. Every time he does this, I think of the gangster movie, long ago, where the italian barber is menacingly flourishing the straight razor around the exposed neck of the gangster. I don’t know why, but every time I see that razor, the flash of that movie comes into my head. Just a quick slice and it would be curtains for me.

We joke about how thin my hair is getting on top and he asks: Did I give you some of my stuff? “What stuff” I ask? Without explaining, he says: “just a minute. I’ll get it”. Off he goes into the back and comes out with a beautiful small black box with something inside. “This is for you” he says.

Everything is now done. Some alcohol to clean the shaving cream off, a quick wipe with a towel, a 15 second head massage, a  blow dry, a pat hear and their to make it neat and he wisks away the apron protecting me from the ton of hair he just cut off my head.

It’s always the same routine for payment. I know he charges $16.00. I always give him $20.00. (A t Christmas time it’s $25). He reaches into his change box under the counter, as always, and as he does this, I always say: “No No, Sam, that’s all right”. Everytime, for years now, he looks me in the eye with a look of sheer gratitude and puts his hand out, at shoulder level, to shake mine. No words – just a quick and sincere thank you handshake.

This time, as I get out of the chair, he hands me the little black box and says put this on you hair everyday – it’ll make it thicker. “Does it work? “Yea it does” and he explains how to use it.

“How much is it?” I ask, thinking I don’t really want to spend more money right now. “My gift” he says. “No charge” Well of course I was all over him with thanks, etc. etc.

He smiles, I smile and say: “thanks Sam – see you next time”. As I’m about to go out the door, I turn to wave at him. By this time his next customer is in the chair. He looks up just as I look at him. We both give a quick little wave and out the door I go.

As I walked into the sunlight and down the sidewalk on Burrard St., I thought; “Isn’t life grande. There are some truly wonderful people out there!”

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The Greatest Gift


Breathing – is the most primordial and sacred act performed by a human being, indeed, all of humanity.

Within this breath lies the path to the heart, the source of life and infinite fulfillment. Intuitively, we know this. BUT to experience this fulfillment, appreciation and gratitude are required. This is the mystery only a few seem to understand. Without this appreciation and gratitude, the mind is at war and thus, the world is at war.

The earths people must learn to appreciate and experience the power of the greatest gift from the greatest giver – the breath.

A river of answers flows from within the infinite realm of the heart. All else holds endless questions. The path to the heart can be found by searching and asking the questions. When the path is found, questions will cease and answers will abound.

Within the river of answers lies true wisdom and endless joy.

Do you have answers or questions?

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SSSS Technology – There is a solution!


The following Comment was left by me in answer to a blog entitled: “Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (SSSS) & the All-Digital TV Broadcast Signal: Connection?” January 31, 2009 by Gary Rea.

In this blog,  Gary expresses his concern about SSSS technology and the possible future use of it to influence and control the general public using subliminal programming via digital television broadcasts.

The text of the blog can be read at: http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/silent-sound-spread-spectrum-ssss-the-all-digital-tv-broadcast-signal-connection/

Following is my comment in answer to Garys blog :

There is a solution – one solution only. We need to get our consciousness out of our warring minds and into our hearts where our true existence lies. The worlds population is at war within. That is why they can be controlled. A warring mind can always be controlled, by outside forces, because it lives in total fear. Those who control, know this.

These events are a call for humanity to find out who they really are – to find the real power within themselves so they can become independent, free and fearless – what they were meant to be from ancient times. Those who fail to do so will have a very painful existence in this new paradigm.

We are all too interested in who won the Super-bowl or the Oscars. We watch the terrible pictures on the TV and internet and say to ourselves: “I’m glad this isn’t happening to me.” Ah yes – we are safe in our little corner of the world. No we’re not. It is happening to all of us. The Earth has become very small and is getting smaller by the day.

We do not have to live in fear. Search for your answers. They are available – people just aren’t looking . . .

. . ./John

Making a Difference


Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

Off in the distance he could see a little girl going back and forth between the surf’s edge and the beach. Back and forth she went. As the man approached, he could see here throwing starfish into the ocean. He could also see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as a result of the natural action of the tide. The man was struck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish.

As he approached, the little girl continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf. As he came up to her he said, “You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference.” She looked at the man and then stooped down to pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. She turned back to the man and said, “It sure made a difference for that one!”

“The Star Thrower” (or “Starfish Story”) is part of a sixteen page essay of the same name by Loren Eiseley (1907–1977). It was first published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe.

I heard this story many years ago and thought I would re-publish it here on my blog for all those who have never heard of it. This is my version of the story. It has been told and re-told thousands of times in different ways, but always with the same message: the power of the individual to make a difference in this world.

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The Secret of the Peace-Master


Once upon a time, a long, long time ago in another age, when the earth was younger, there was a little village nestled in a valley between the high snow capped mountains and the deep blue sea. Surrounded by very tall thousand year old evergreen trees with thick brown bark, the village was protected from the fierce ocean winds and the winter gales.

For eons, the villagers lived in peace, harmony and simplicity. They ate the delicious, abundant food from the forest and the sea. A small stream meandered through the village and brought pure ice cold drinking and cooking water from the mountain glaciers. The people lived with the harsh seasons tempered by the warmth of the ocean water and the protection of the high mountains.

As time progressed, the expert fishermen began to realize they could enrich their life by working together to make the villagers pay higher prices for their fish. The forest hunters, who had developed high skills through their years of experience, began to charge more for their food so they could live a better life. The leaders of the village council began to oppress the other villagers with higher taxes to be used for the betterment of the village but they soon began to keep much of the collected taxes so they could live an easier life. Soon the entire village was filled with greed and bickering. The people no longer lived in peace and harmony. The simple life became a difficult and complicated one for most of the villagers. There were some in the village who longed for a return of the simple, harmonious, peaceful life they once knew. They prayed to the spirit of nature to help them.

One warm blue-skied summer day an ageless stranger came to the village. From where he came, no one knew. He had an ancient secret to tell. He met with the few peacemaking villagers and told them he had come long ago to create peace in the village but the villagers, over time, had forgotten.  He showed them a secret place of peace where they could go, within their own hearts – a place that had always existed, but no one had known the way.

The villagers were overjoyed now that they knew of this secret place inside. After a time, many of the villagers began to learn from the stranger and they began to use their new-found understanding to create a more peaceful and harmonious village. Slowly, for the following generation, as those who would not understand began to pass away, the village returned to the peace and harmony it once enjoyed.

When he had completed his work, the stranger left the village and where he went, no one knew.

Forever after they called him the Peace-Master.

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Life Energy 1


As we walked down Davie St. yesterday, Grace and I passed a tall rather handsome young Asian man walking in the opposite direction with an obvious air of poise and confidence. My experience in life tells me that confidence is often accompanied with arrogance which is a human characteristic that I absolutely abhor. In this case, there was no arrogance and not even a hint of haughtiness.

His eyes were focused on his destination and he was dressed quite nattily with stylish clothes. A very thick gray and white wool scarf was neatly wrapped around his neck as protection from the chilly winter breeze that was sweeping off the nearby ocean water. Who is this man? What is he about? Where is he going? Where has he been? What does he think? So many questions flooded into me. I turned to Grace and said: “nice energy”. she replied: “what do you mean”? I thought for a quick second and responded: “forget it – it’s not important”. I realized that, to explain the statement I made would take far more time than I was prepared to expend.

I’ve been thinking about this and I realized that, for as long as I can remember, I have categorized virtually all lifeforms in terms of the feeling of energy that emanates from them. “Lifeforms” is, basically, anything that exists; humans, animals, insects, rocks, trees. This is not a scientific analysis and I speak only from experience.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, when I was a young boy, about 4 years old, I accompanied my mother on the long walk to the old trolley station for the weekly grocery shopping trip. The station was virtually surrounded by very tall stately trees with extended branches like arms that created a dome of leaves for protection. As the summer breeze generated a gentle leaf dance high in the sky to my little eyes, the sun flickered through the mottled green canopy creating a magical shower of sparkling light that was mesmerizing, almost hypnotic.  It was a scene like the kind you see in very old oil landscape paintings from the Masters of the Renaissance period.

The memory of that station has been indelibly imprinted in my  memory because of the feeling I had when I was near the trees. It was a protective energy – a feeling that those trees could, and would, protect me from all manner of harm. They were attractive to me. I gravitated to them.  This feeling, so many years later, I never forgot.

Rock has energy too. My attraction is to limestone and granite. Limestone is marble in the making – it is young, soft and in the process of becoming something greater, more beautiful, more solid.  In ancient Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza was originally completely encased in glistening white limestone. During that time, the limestone would reflect the sun, thus creating a light source that served as a guide for travelers throughout the region.

Photo by John Archer

Granite is – well – you know, mountains are made of it. The granite has always been there.  It’s got quartz in it. Quartz is an energy storage medium and years ago people used to make “Quartz Chrystal Radios”. The quartz would somehow capture the radio station signal from the atmosphere and you could listen to the radio with a little ear plug. I relate to granite. I like to be around it. It’s a feeling – I can’t explain it. Things are built with granite. When polished it is absolutely beautiful. It has an energy too, you know. It’s an energy you can feel.

Energy!

The scientists say it can’t be created or destroyed.

Hmmm . . .

(Much, much more on this later . . . energy and creation . . .)

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My Favorite Snack – recipe.


A time comes in ones life when you must come clean with those who are close to you; those special ones in your family, friends and even people you don’t know well but really like. This is my time.

Many, many years ago I created a snack that was, for me, out of this world. It was a moment of eureka in my life. It is time for me share this with the world. Now this is a very simple recipe and some of you will find this humorously simple but for me it is very serious. I love this snack and the day, many years ago, when I had the inspiration to create it was truly a great day because I have been making it regularly for many years, mostly for myself. Here it is. You have my permission to share this recipe with anyone of your choosing:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 piece of toasted whole grain bread. (Be sure toast is still hot ).
  2. 1 jar of crunchy peanut butter (the crunchy type is important).
  3. Some soft butter.
  4. 1 large dill pickle (some say kosher is best, but I don’t really care as long as it was made with garlic).
  5. 1 spreading knife.
  6. 1 sharp knife for cutting the pickle.

Directions:

  • First cut the pickle in long thin slices approximately 2 millimeters thick; set aside.
  • Next, spread the butter, sparingly, on the hot toast (must be hot so the butter melts) and then liberally spread the crunchy peanut butter on the toast. I’m sure you all know this to be regular toast and peanut butter.
  • Now for the moment of Eureka – place the thin dill pickle slices evenly on top of the peanut butter until covered. One large pickle should do the trick.
  • Slice the toast diagonally and place on a plate.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Many of you may be thinking this is too simple but I would remind you – some of the most important and enjoyable things in life are simple. Things like eating, drinking, sex, love and, for those of you who know me well, you guessed it, breathing. Yes – breathing – so simple, yet so incredibly rewarding. Do we appreciate our breath as much as our peanut butter and dill pickle?

You may say – “Heck, I know about the pickle thing already”. Yes, maybe you do, but, I tell you, when I thought this up, I had never heard of it. You may ask: “why did you think it up?”. I will tell you why: Because the peanut butter was too sweet and I wanted to cut it with something bitter. Hence: the pickle idea. Often the inspiration for the greatest inventions can come from the simplest of problems. What an amazing combination this recipe is – it’s kind of like sweet and sour pork in a Chinese restaurant.

If you have already heard of this recipe, it is probably because someone close to me must have betrayed my confidence, because my secret recipe was long ago revealed, without my knowledge, to the world. I know this because I recently googled “peanut butter and pickle” and found, much to my surprise, that many people are already aware of and enjoying it. However, I am not angry about this. In fact, I am very pleased that so many people are already enjoying the benefits of my moment of Eureka.

Note – I know that some of my friends are Vegans (Feather) and you are quite welcome to substitute margarine or something else for the butter ( or leave it out entirely). It won’t be the same and definitely will not be true to the original recipe, but I’m sure it will be very tasty for you.

In case the recipe is not adequate, I am attaching a picture of the finished snack.


May you all enjoy this snack as much as I have over the years.

. . . /John

10 Reasons to Practice Yoga at Home – Alone


Yoga Lady Clip Art

Clip Art courtesy of: anmolmehta.com

10.  No driving.

9.  No Fancy Clothing.

8.  No appointments needed.

7.  No distractions from other yogis.

6.  Don’t have to put up with Gawkers.

5.  No fancy expensive equipment required.

4 .  You’re free – you can do it any time you want.

3.  It won’t cost you a lot of your hard earned money.

2.  Your yoga experience will be all yours and no one else’s.

1.  It’s Your Own Private Inner Journey. Definitely a Solo journey.

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The Inner Journey: Solo-Yoga for the Serious Searcher!

For Broken Hearts


The blogosphere is filled, to overflowing, with broken hearts. Everyday, new expressions of sadness, despair or depression blame relationships that ended in a broken heart. When expectations are greater than reality, disappointment is destined to follow. Read the following words from the movie, “Practical Magic”. These words are in the introduction to a YouTube video: “Crystal” by Stevie Nicks. This song is extremely compelling and mystical. I will let the reader be the judge. Have a listen.

From Practical Magic:

He will hear my call from a mile away.
He will whistle my favorite song.
He can ride a pony backwards.

What are you doing?

Summoning up a true love spell;
Called Amas Veritas.
He can flip pancakes in the air.
He’ll be marvelously kind.
His favorite shape will be a star.
And he’ll have one green eye and one blue.

I thought you never wanted to fall in love.

What’s the point?
The guy I dreamed of doesn’t exist
And if he doesn’t exist,
I’ll never die of a broken heart.

Crop Circles: The Answer


I was recently asked my opinion about crop circles. I hadn’t thought much about them for years so I googled “Who Created Crop Circles” and the number of results I received was three million, four-hundred and fifty thousand. (I wrote this out to emphasize the largeness of the number). This is obviously a topic that millions of people are concerned about.

The explanations of who created them runs the gambit: God, Alien visitors, Extra-terrestrials in spacecraft, UFOs, Pranksters with planks, A force seemingly at odds with Science, Weather vortices, Businesses for advertising campaigns, Paranormal energies, Artists, Particle beams, Students, Humans, Satellites, Flying saucers, Governments, Hoaxers, Angelic beings, Mathematical mice, A Maldekian, Microwave technology, A ball of light, Made by sound, Small currents of whirling winds called dust-devils and last of all, Chuck Norris (Chuck Norris?).

It is not, and never has been, a pre-occupation of mine to find answers about crop circles but, I must admit, I am absolutely fascinated with the designs. I will also admit that, in the past, I have even been momentarily tempted to seek answers. They are incredibly beautiful pieces of artwork and I greatly appreciate them and their creators – whoever they are. I think very much in geometric terms and I admire them in the same fashion that I admire a fine painting by one of the masters.

Before we discuss the crop circles, I ask you dear reader, what other important answers do you seek in your life? If you are puzzled by that question, let me offer a list of answers you could seek. This is a very lengthy list so I don’t expect you to read the whole thing. The list is in no particular order so you can just briefly gaze through it:

Who created the Earth; who built the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and why; who created the crystal skulls, who or what is God, why are some people greedy and power hungry, why do worldwide musical tastes evolve, why do people kill other people, are there really ghosts, how can some people miraculously heal themselves, do angels really exist, did Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, etc. really exist, Is there a conspiracy to control the world, why can some people sing and others can’t, how could a Priest molest a child, why are rich dictators usually so merciless with their people, why don’t people help starving people in the world, why do people steal, why was I born beautiful, ugly skinny, fat, stupid, who am I, why was I born, why am I here, why wasn’t I born into a rich family, why do I have to die, what will happen after I die, where was I before I was born and did I even exist, etc., etc., etc. ? ? ? ? ?

I’m sure with a little imagination you can add greatly to this list.

I am humbled by the incredible endless beauty of the human existence I have been gifted. How does one describe the beauty of the earth; the deep blue domed sky on a warm summer day; the mass of twinkling stars in the milky-way on a cold, dark winter night; the turquoise blue ocean lagoon on Paradise Island filled with an array of rainbow colored fishes; thousand year old trees with massive trunks.

I am humbled, also by the very breath that I have been given and by the ability that I have been shown to directly experience the energy that exists within me and keeps my body alive moment to moment. It is with great pleasure that I allow my mother, who is a healthy 87 year old retired nurse, to take my blood pressure. She really enjoys doing this and I am always amazed and appreciative that, after all these years, my heart is still beating at just over 60 beats per minute with no direct involvement by myself.

In short, I am in awe of my own life. What an amazing thing is this existence we have been given.

Crop circles are one of the many things that occur on earth to help humans move ahead in the quest for meaning in their lives. Some of the other things that occur are earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes UFO sightings, UFO abductions, rainbows, porpoises, whales, angel sightings, aurora borealis, melting polar ice caps, people who channel angelic beings, clairvoyant people.

The earth and everything in it was a gift to you. Whales are a gift to you. Crop circles are a gift to you too. Enjoy looking at them for their beauty and magnificence. Appreciate them, but do not ask the question: who made them? Leave that for the scientists.

Human beings ask all the wrong questions. So many questions we ask – the list is infinite. We ask all the wrong questions and never ask the right questions.

Ask instead: Is there a place I can go where the questions cease and only answers abound. If I had no questions and only answers, what would that feel like? If such a place exists; how do I get there? Is there anyone who can help me?

Ask not about crop circles, but ask to experience the source that enables you to appreciate and enjoy them.

Ask not how the sunset came to be, but ask to experience the source of your own ability to experience its color and beauty.

Ask not how you came to exist, but ask to experience the very power that allows you to enjoy your own existence – to feel love, to feel joy and, ultimately, to be completely fulfilled.

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Al Jazeera English


In my quest for up-to-date news on the goings-on in Libya, I became a little bit frustrated with Twitter, with an inner longing for some video. I long ago cancelled my cable TV subscription because I never watched anything but the news and the news was too biased for my liking.

I just discovered that Al Jazeera has an English station. It’s nice to get the story from the side of the world where things are happening. Sometimes it’s a bit slow because of buffering, but very interesting to watch and very up-to-date.

Here’s the Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

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14 Minutes of Sweetness


My Friend Eduardo Del Signore posted a very sweet music link on Facebook today.Clarinet

This is a classical piece composed by his friend JohnTerryl Plumeri, Plumeri – Romance for Clarinet, for clarinet, strings and harp. The clarinetist is Robert Fitzer and the harpist Gayle Levant. Featured on WGBH Boston. This peace is pure beauty.

We often think of classical music being 100s of years old, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. This is a modern piece and very beautiful.

I’ve been through every musical interest possible. Classical, Country, Folk, Rock, Jazz – you name it. I got away from the classical stuff years ago, but I particularly enjoyed this not only because of it’s obvious sweetness, but also because when I was much younger, I played clarinet in a small jazz band and actually made a bit of money from it.

Here’s the link – hope you enjoy it: WGBH Boston

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On Sadness


You’re feeling sad. Why do you need to know why?

It is a good thing to be sad and cry a little once in a while. It is your heart calling out for some tenderness and maybe love. Sadness and crying are not sicknesses. Enjoy it while it lasts for tomorrow you may be laughing and joking with no memory of the sadness. We are blessed with emotion so that we can feel. Feel for ourselves and feel for others. There are so many people, people who are hardened, who cannot feel sadness and are too proud to cry. Rejoice in your humanness and your heartfelt emotions. You are a lucky person to feel such emotion. Through sadness you may find humility and through humility you may find inner peace. Enjoy the life-giving breath every moment of every day. All the answers are within.

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The Answer to the Questions


Why?  How?  When?  Where?  You know the questions but you do not know the answers!

The answers to these questions lie not in the mind with reasoning. The answers lie in the heart with feeling. Go within where resides the coming and going of the breath, the sustainer of life and the feeling of the heart. If you stay there long and often enough, the questions will cease and you will be filled only with answers. Ponder not these difficult questions of the mind, but only the power behind the breath every moment of every day. In this lies the answer to your quest for fulfillment. Peace of mind is the heritage of every human on the planet.  A world filled with Peace begins with you.

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King Leopard the Benevolent


One Hungry Mouse

I just received this by email from Judith and I can’t resist posting this on my blog.

This is a must read!

This extraordinary scene was captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge at the Santiago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire. The 19-year-old, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, who was photographing the leopard for a course project, was astounded by the mouse’s behaviour.

He said: ‘I have no idea where the mouse came from – he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard. “He didn’t take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself.”

But the leopard was pretty surprised – she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared.

‘In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened . . . but even a gentle shove does not deter the little creature from getting his fill.

It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked. He said he’d never seen anything like it before.

Project owner Jackie James added: “It was so funny to see – Sheena batted the mouse a couple of times to try to get it away from her food.” But the determined little thing took no notice and just carried on.

Sheena was brought in to the Santiago Rare Leopard Project from a UK Zoo when she was just four months old. She is one of 14 big cats in the private collection started by Jackie’s late husband Peter in 1989.

The African Leopard can be found in the continent’s forests, grasslands, savannas and rainforests.

The Mix: The Jazz 100


I’ll make this short and sweet. If you are a jazz fan, a jazz neophyte, or know absolutely nothing about jazz – but want to, this site is for you.

What better way to learn about jazz than to listen to the top 100 jazz pieces of all time.

If you are an experienced jazz fan, you may take issue with the choice of what are the top 100 jazz pieces, but, nevertheless, this site will provide you with many hours, days and weeks of pleasurable listening.

Simply click on the link and the music will start playing. Be sure you have a good speaker system. Without which your listening pleasure will be mediocre at best.

link: The Mix: The Jazz 100 NPR Media Player

PS – Nobody paid me to give out this link. I just listen to it and enjoy! . . ./JA

Egypt – The Bully falls


When I was 12 years old, I was a fair haired boy with lots of patience and a deep seated love for life. I had no anger issues with my parents. My school was a very rough one and in every school, it seems, there are young men with attitude who subconsciously seem to have issues with fair haired patient boys who love life. Johnny K was one of those.

Johnny  was a likeable guy but the push-up champion of the school was just plain cocky. If I remember correctly, he could do 150 push-ups without getting tired. Whenever I walked the halls of the school, he would give me a little shove or a dirty look. This went on for months. He never actually picked a fight with me – he just had this attitude that said: “I don’t like you and I wish you would disappear from the face of the earth”.

It was a beautiful spring morning with clear blue skies and crocuses pushing up through the earth, energized by the warmth of the sun. I was feeling good and, as I walked down the hallway during the morning recess, the push-up champion gave me a little shove with his shoulder. At that moment, for some cosmic reason I will never be sure of, I just knew – the time had come for action. I pulled my arm back quickly, clenched my fist and smacked him on the forehead with four hard knuckles – with as much energy as I could muster. It felt very, very good. The very instant I connected, my whole world changed and – so did his.

Johnny always sat at the back of the classroom. After recess was over, I remember, the teacher asking him how he got the large black and blue welt in the center of his forehead. His reply was: “I was running and crashed into the door”. He never bothered me again. In fact, he always tried to make friends with me.

30 years later at a class reunion, I commented to him that I always remembered he was the push-up champion of the school. (I never mentioned the incident we had in the hall). He returned with: “I always remember you being a pretty tough guy in school”. I never thought of myself as a “tough guy” but I guess when you no longer live in fear, some people think that is “tough”. Maybe it is.

Now what does this have to do with the situation in Egypt? To me, it is very simple. It has a lot to do with Egypt – and the people of this world.

Democracy is the buzz word of America. My opinions on the current state of the world will be left for another article but for now I will say: the citizens of this world do not have a yearning to live in a democracy. What they really long for is freedom from oppression. They want to walk down the hallways of their life without being harassed and forced to live in fear. In short, they want a peaceful existence.

photo courtesy of presstv.ir

In any society, leaders are necessary. Every society requires smart people who can make decisions that affect the mass of the population. Most people understand this. The democratic system of leader selection was created as a means to, supposedly, release people from the despotic decisions of kings, queens, dictators and other forms of highly concentrated power. The key word is despotic.

Leaders who have the welfare of the people as a priority are not despotic, they are benevolent. Benevolence creates a feeling of freedom in the hearts of their people. Despotism creates a feeling of fear within the people. Fear is the ultimate tool of oppression.

It was time for history to be made. Finally, the fear dissipated and the people of Egypt realized, with the help of social internet media, the time had come for action. When the fear is gone, in the face of massive action . . .the bully falls, quickly and inevitably. The implications of this are massive.

More to come . . .

English Bay, Vancouver


Look closely.

This is the bike path at English Bay.

Notice the large tree on top of the highrise apartment.

English Bay is the hub of summer activity in Vancouver for summer sun.

Click on Pictures to Enlarge

More pictures and information can be found on my Facebook Page: Vancouver – City of Peace

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vancouver-City-of-Peace/150101198487257

Pathways of Life


A day will come when you no longer blame others for your own inner turmoil and discontent.

That is the day you will find the path to inner peace, contentment and fulfillment.

That day will definitely come!  Hopefully, sooner than later.

Turmoil and Peace are both within.

YOU choose !

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(Click on Medal to read inscription)

On September 27, 2006, President George Bush signed into law the “Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act,” which authorizes Congress to award the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

Under this legislation, the United States Congress awards this honor “in recognition of his many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights, and religious understanding.” The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States.

Courtesy of: http://www.thedalailamablog.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

Google Talk is the best Gmail Checker


I’m a fan of Google Talk for tracking Gmail emails: http://www.google.com/talk/.

I have a gmail address and tried many different kinds of email notifiers. Some worked some didn’t. Some came as gmail addons and some are available via Yahoo Widgets. For various reasons I wasn’t really happy with any of them.

I installed Google Talk and love it. Google Talk tracks all your Gmail emails. After it is installed Google Talk puts an icon on the right side of the taskbar over by the clock. It is always there. When email is in your box, a red “M” will appear as the icon and hovering over the icon will tell you how many emails you have. If you want more detail you simply right click on the icon and you can choose “Check Mail Now” which will show you the first line of each email in sequence at which time you can click on an individual email to view the whole email. The other option when you right-click is to go directly to your inbox.

Give it a try. I’m not really interested in the talk feature because I use Gmail “Call Phone” feature to make all my phone calls. That’s a topic for another day.

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